This is part three of a series about Kate who was 91 years old when she enrolled in hospice services. If you read part one, you know that Kate is very independent; some may think “stubborn,” but I prefer “strong-willed” and “feisty.” Well, Kate was true to form while she was in our in-patient unit during a five-day respite admission. She was giving her daughter and son-in-law a much needed break. Kate beamed with resolve as she told me, “The nurse that was all dressed up in white scolded me last night. She told me, ‘If you get up by yourself one more time, I’m going to spank you.’ She was just joking. I think. I reached up and patted her face and asked her, ‘Who are you going to bring with you?’ They put the bedside commode away from the bed, against the wall, so I couldn’t get up to it on my own. But when she left, I just grabbed it with my cane and pulled it over next to the bed.”
While Kate was in our in-patient unit she shared three separate but related stories with me. Kate shared about her brother-in-law: “He was sick, his wife had left him and he came to my mind all day. I couldn’t go check on him because I had two kids. So when my husband got home, I sent him to check on him. He went to ask him if he had something to eat. He only had a half-cup of flour, enough for one pancake, but he didn’t have any milk or money to buy any. He said, ‘I just prayed that something would turn up’.”
Kate shared her second story about her friend, Dorothy: “One day, I had a strong urge to check on her. When I did, she told me she’d been sick in bed for two days. She hugged me and told me, ‘I was just praying for someone.’ I stayed with her a day or two, and then brought her home with me until she got better.”
Kate’s third story was about her son, who was a helicopter gunner in Vietnam: “I had a nightmare that he was captured. They had him tied down, and his body was over water and they were pushing his head up and down. When I woke up, I was so worried about him. I started praying for him, and a voice told me, ‘There is One who is able to keep him safe.’ A peace came over me. I can’t describe it. The peace and calm came over me, and I knew that was the answer to my prayers. You know, the Lord is a pushover for tears.” Kate concluded, “You know, God speaks to you like that.”
Has God ever spoken to you like that? Has anyone ever come to your mind? Have you ever had a strong urge to check on someone? Have you ever had an unexplainable burden to pray for someone? The next time we do, let’s not reason it away, for someone may just be praying for “something to turn up” or for “someone” to stop by. Our response may be God’s answer. After all, He is a “pushover for tears.”
“Why, when I came, was there no man? Why, when I called, was there none to answer?” (Isaiah 50:2)
Loren Hardin is a social worker with Southern Ohio Medical Center-Hospice, and can be reached at 740-356-2525 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can order Loren’s new book, “Straight Paths,” online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.